tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 22, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com live from studio seven, i'm suzanne malveaux. i want to get you up to speak for this thursday, december 22nd. president obama turning up the pressure on house republicans in the tax cut standoff. the president is holding an event in the next hour to push for extending the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the month. 's going to be joined by families who will pay on average another $40 out of every paycheck if that tax cut expires. now house republicans revolted against a temporary two-month extension that was passed by the senate. today neither side shows any
signs of giving in. >> i told the president there's one big reason why we need to do a full year, and that's jobs. a one-year bill like the president requested and like the house produced is simply better for jobs and better for our economy. >> let's enact this bipartisan compromise, however, to eliminate uncertainty for american families and then get right to work on a one-year version. not wait until february. not walk away and hold off until the last minute. got more encouraging news about the job market. the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since april of 2008. labor department says initial claims dropped to 364,000. that is down 4,000 from a week before. many economists say a level below 400,000 means enough job growth to lower the unemployment
rate. a wave of explosions rocks baghdad. car bombs, six roadside bombs, and a mortar round all used in attacks during rush hour. authorities confirm at least 63 people killed, 185 wounded. the violence is raising fears about iraq's stability. a political crisis threatens to undo the government just days after u.s. troops withdrew. and it all boils down to failure to communicate. the pentagon says that pakistani officials didn't give exact locations of their forces before 24 pakistani troops were killed in a u.s. air strike last month. each side says that the other fired first. it is the latest incident to create bad blood between the uneasy allies. fighting for her cause. now fighting for her life. the egyptian woman seen in red in this video being brutally
beaten by security forces is now speaking out. she suffered multiple blows to the head along with other injuries during this attack. hard to see. hard to watch. she says she was trying to help another protester who was being brutally assaulted. >> translator: even after the attack and two fractures to her skull, she was unbowed. still speaking out. they were hitting a veiled woman, she says. they removed her veil and exposed the underwear she was wearing. egypt's supreme council has expressed regret over recent attacks on female protesters by military police. they promise those responsible will be held accountable. many egyptians are expressing serious doubt that that's going to happen. arab league monitors are set to ride in syria today as part of a plan to help bring peace.
the government's violent crackdown on protesters escalated this week. syrian activists say 250 people were killed over two days. the u.n. estimates more than 5,000 people have died since the protests began in march. so what a way to mark the first day of winter. storm watches in the north as well as southwest. this is what it was like on the roads in denver last night t. isn't getting any better. chad myers to explain where the worst of it is. >> snow on one side and tornado watches on the other side of the storm. >> wow. >> pretty amazing. up and down the i-25 corridor here. still some snow. farther off to the east even in atlanta right now, a new tornado watch box just issued by the prediction center there. that means that some storms could be rotating enough to cause tornadoes today. not usually a spring-type
pattern. it is kind of a spring-type pattern when we have snow on one side, where it's cold, warm on the other side. walk outside in birmingham, montgomery, it feels like spring. that's the kind of weather you can get when you have a lot of water, moisture and heat in the air. denver the longest delay at 1:10 minutes. now more on the high stakes political fight affecting your paycheck. president obama is upping the ante in the standoff over extending the payroll tax cut. he goes before the cameras, the microphones. that will happen in the next hour. he'll be making his case. he needs to. the clock is ticking. the payroll tax cut expires december 31st. what does this mean? it means that higher taxes for 160 million americans if there is no extension. for a family making $50,000 a year it means $40 less in each paycheck. a figure the administration is really trying to hammer home. want to bring in our white house correspondent dan lothian. dan, this is fascinating but at
the same time very frustrating. we've seen this kind of stage craft during the campaign, but this administration has taken it to a whole other level. you have the tax countdown clock, you have the twitter campaign. now he's going to be bringing out families who potentially will be hurt by the tax increase. what do we expect to hear from the president? >> reporter: well, look, you point out something that's very important here, that this is a big campaign from the white house. they realize that the message from the president is important, that putting out the spokesman and other administration officials to talk about the impact at letting this expire would have on middle class americans. that, yes, that message would get out there, but it wouldn't have quite the impact of having some of the people there in the room standing next to the president sort of symbolizing their own personal stories. the white house, as you pointed out, through their blog, through twitter have reached out to the public. they've gotten more than 30,000
responses they say of people talking about what it would mean if, in fact, they lost $40 from a paycheck. some of those folks will be there with the president. it's a chance, again, for the president to continue to put a lot of pressure on house republicans to get a deal done. >> and, dan, obviously the house republicans, they're fighting back. we just heard from the speaker, john boehner, who held a news conference explaining why a one-year extension is necessary. i want you to listen to what he said. >> a one-year bill provides on average about $1,000 for american workers as opposed to the senate bill which would provide a measley $166. as importantly, a one-year bill would provide certainty for american employers as they begin to plan for next year. >> dan, i assume the president is going to be addressing that in his statement. how does he respond to boehner's argument? >> reporter: well, i think he'll respond this way is that everyone agrees that a one-year
extension here, one-year bill is the way to go. the problem is, the white house points out, there's not enough time to get a one-year deal done. what you have on the table is a two-month temporary extension that has been approved or passed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the senate. so now it's just simply up for house republicans to buy on to this. i think you'll hear that message from the president. yes, everyone agrees. we need one year, but we can't get it done. let's do what we can do, and that is two months. >> all right, dan. we'll get back to you very shortly as we watch and wait for the president to deliver his own campaign regarding this issue. presidential candidate rick santorum, he's saying that both sides are wrong in the fight over extending the payroll tax cut. he says that since the payroll tax helps fund social security, cutting it actually hurts the program. >> as someone who's been on the butt end of many attacks that republicans don't care about social security, that republicans are the ones that are trying to gut social
security, republicans are the ones that want to make sure it's not going to be there to stand up and make sure that it's properly funded and then we see democrats out there trying to cut the payroll tax. in other words, cut the funding for social security and say that if you don't do that, then you're not for middle income americans. i thought social security was for middle income americans. >> santorum accuses president obama of playing games with social security. he also says the president is trying to divide the country to win the election. here's a rundown of some of the stories up ahead. first 63 people killed in a series of bombings in baghdad. then bank of america agrees to shell out more than $300 million to settle claims of discrimination against minority homeowners -- buyers, rather, countrywide. plus presidential candidate ron paul loses his cool after cnn repeatedly questions him about racist comments in his old newsletter. also, former nfl players go
after the league in a lawsuit claiming it didn't do enough to protect players from brain damage. and details now about the secretive kim jong il and his son from the man who spent years cooking for him. you'll hear from the so-called dear leader's personal chef. gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. never took life too seriously. 'til our son was born... that day, he bought life insurance. now, there's no way i could send our boy to college without it. if there was one thing i could say to hank, it'd be "thank you." you're welcome. hey, hank. [ male announcer ] life insurance you can use while you're still living. you are one lucky lady. mm-hmm. [ male announcer ] learn more from your state farm agent today.
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baghdad in quite a long time. it comes days after u.s. troops pulled out. what does that mean about the state of iraq? >> reporter: you know, suzanne, this really is the worst case scenario for so many iraqis. it's a nightmare that's unfolding in front of their eyes. the type of violence we saw this morning, those explosions, they're all happening during two hours during rush hour targeting mostly civilians and completely at random. that is exactly what so many iraqis are worried would take place once the u.s. withdrew. that, coupled with this political crisis the country is going through that is almost on the brink of seeing the government effectively collapse, is fueling fears amongst so many here that perhaps there could be more violence in the future. at the end of the day even though the lie r violence might not be directly linked to the political crisis, we all know very well that political instability in this country does tend to lead to more bloodshed. >> arwa, do we know if anyone is claiming responsibility for
these attacks? >> reporter: no, not at this stage just yet, although they do bear all of the hallmarks of al qaeda, especially when it comes to the sophistication and coordination that took place. another thing, too, for the iraqi population, this is underscoring that it's raising this big question of are the iraqi security forces ready to protect the people. if you can have 16 explosions in a single day where there's a check point on every single street corner. it's a welcome home kiss making history. two female sailors just became the u.s. navy's gay couple to kiss after a ship's return. >> i feel good about it. it's nice to be able to be myself. it's been a long time coming. i've been in for almost 2.5 years. this is very recent the change has come into effect. it's been nothing but positive. it's been pretty awesome. >> i think it's great that we can be open about our relationship since we both are in the military.
>> the crew of the oak hill and their loved ones bought raffle tickets for the first kiss opportunity. the justice department says tens of thousands of black and hispanic homeowners were discriminated against when they were sold costly subprime mortgages. now bank of america says it's going to pay for it.
in the largest settlement of its kind ever, bank of america has agreed to pay $345 million in a case of alleged discrimination against borrowers. discrimination countrywide allegedly engaged in before bank of america bought it. alison kosik is live at the new york stock exchange to explain this. allison, what does the justice
department say that countrywide actually did? >> suzanne, with this federal investigation, they found that bank of america discriminated against hundreds of thousands of people during the housing boom. these were minority borrowers, latinos, blacks. they were steered to take out subprime loans, this, even though most of them actually qualified for prime loans. prime loans are cheaper because you can get these loans at a lower interest rate. so what wound up happening is the minority applicants payed tens of thousands of dollars more than they should have. remember, it was the subprime loans that started the housing crisis in the first place. >> alison, those homeowners, are they getting compensated? >> they will. so the $335 million that you mentioned, that money is going to go to the victims. there's no word yet on how much each person will exactly get or when, but that $335 million is going for 200,000 people. it winds up being $1700 per
person. clearly it's not enough to make up for everybody who lost their homes to foreclosure. at this point you see what bofa is doing. they say the discrimination happened before bank of america bought countrywide. they say they don't use countrywide's practices. the housing market is still digging out from under that mess that the justice department says countrywide helped cause. it was just one of the issues responsible for the slow economic recovery that we've had in 2011. now many of us are more than ready to ianara to a tough economic year. >> reporter: the recovery is slow. >> at a rate that is both uneven across sectors and from us traitingly slow. >> reporter: congress. >> all 53 of us have informed the speaker that his legislation was doomed in the senate. >> reporter: europe a mess. and wall street occupied.
>> we are 99%. >> reporter: the u.s. economy actually grew in 20 eleven, but barely. >> even as economic growth continues, we continue to face very substantial economic challenges. >> reporter: challenges like the housing market. home prices dropped about 4% and jobs, over 13 million americans are still out of work. politicians and business leaders search for solutions. >> pass this bill. >> pass this jobs bill. >> pass this jobs bill. >> i think a balanced approach ultimately is what most business people, most ceos would like to see. >> we, too, have to do something. >> reporter: it's been a frustrating year for the u.s. economy. could have been worse. could have been europe. >> reporter: debt crises threaten the economies of greece, italy, spain, and others leaving leaders scrambling to hold the eurozone together and save the common currency. u.s. investors are holding their breath. >> reporter: 2011 started with big gains for stocks.
the dow soared past 12,000 holding its own. governments toppled in egypt and libya. >> reporter: japan's problems threatened our fragile recovery. over this summer congress's debt ceiling stalemate pulled the rug out of the market. >> there are a lot of cries seeings in the world that we can't always predict and avoid. this isn't one of those crises. >> reporter: the dow dropped 512 points on august 4th, another 630 plus points on august 8th as s&p downgraded its rating on the united states that left investors dizzy. >> reporter: americans angry, some took to the streets, a fight for financial fairness began in september here in new york's zuccotti park and spread across the country. >> reporter: many sought retail therapy. the biggest black friday and cyber monday on record. >> reporter: the dow recovered the summer's losses and has a chance to end the year in positive territory. call it a little christmas cheer at the end of an economic year
to forget. >> okay. so what do we have to look ford to economy wise? they're predicting another year of slow growth in 2012. the crisis in europe, yes, that will continue to be a major concern. there are some positive indicators that have been out in recent weeks, specifically if you look at the jobs market, housing market. if some of those trends continue in 2012, believe it or not, it has a chance of being a little better than 2011. >> we're hoping. we're hoping for better here, alison. have you done any holiday shopping yet? >> i did. i've done most of it. i have a little more. i celebrate hanukkah. i leave some of the last days to the last minute. isn't that terrible? >> i am a last-minute gal myself. haven't done any holiday shopping. we know president obama -- >> good luck to you. >> thanks. we saw the president. he took a break from the political wrangling over the payroll tax cut extension. last-minute christmas shopping.
last-minute himself. he took the first dog beau along with him. they were in alexandria, virginia. they went to pet smart. that's where beau is allowed to roam. it was on to best buy to pick up some games for the girls. >> in case you guys are wondering, "just dance" for the wii. the girls beat me every time on these various dance games. i'm going tore -- you guys will never get a picture of me doing it because i get graded "f" every time. >> when it came time to pay the president joked about whether or not his credit card would still work. fortunately, it did. that's a good sign. take care, alison. >> i wouldn't want a camera to follow me around. just a reminder, less than an hour president obama's holding a news conference concerning the payroll tax cut. coverage starts at the top of
the hour. we'll bring you his remarks live. well, his poll numbers are up, but skeletons in ron paul's closet coming out again. we'll take a hard look at the claims of racism being made against the candidate. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪
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here's a rundown of some of the stories that we are working on. next presidential candidate ron paul answers more questions about racist comments in his old newsletter and ends an interview with cnn over it. former nfl players sue the league over concussions they got on the football field. later, a $40,000 tuneup. caviar from iran. some of the luxuries from the personal chef of kim jong il.
so you think it would be ron paul's time to shine. the presidential candidate is now surging in the polls right now in iowa. 28% of the vote in the latest polling and he is now beating out both mitt romney and newt gingrich going into the nation's first prime miscarriaayoiscarra. with rising poll numbers comes heightened scrutiny and tough questions. he's being asked again about racist statements in newsletters that were written under his name in the 1980s and '90s. here's an example of one from an article criticizing president reagan for signing legislation making martin luther king day a national holiday. his newsletter says, quote, we can thank him for our annual hate whitey day. there's another from 1992. we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men. it is hardly irrational. our ali velshi asked paul about the racist comments earlier this week and paul pushed back.
>> i guess as you get closer to being president of the united states folks want to know that you don't dislike black people and people with aids, things like that. i get what you're saying, that you're going up- >> excuse me. why don't they concentrate on every word i've ever said, every speech i have ever given, every conference i've ever gone to and maybe that's where -- maybe my beliefs are more important than, you know, stirring this up. >> now yesterday cnn's gloria borger pushed the candidate on these newsletters again. this time, he answered and walked. >> you know what the answer is? i didn't write them. i didn't read them at the time and i disavow them. that's the answer. >> reporter: but you made money off of it? >> if you know i made money you know more about my finances than i did. >> reporter: do you know that you didn't? >> i don't even know what you're talking about. i mean, you know, if it was
published for ten years so if that was 1% of all the newsletter i made money off, you know, talking about gold stocks. i think you're confused on that. >> reporter: okay. well, it's just a question. i mean, it's legitimate. it's legitimate. these things are pretty incendiary. >> because of people like you. >> reporter: >> reporter: no, no, no. come on. some of this stuff was very insen depreid he deair ri. saying in 1993 the israelis were responsible for the bombing of the world trade center. >> good-bye. >> so is this going to matter to voters? joe johns is live at the political desk in washington. joe, you and i have both covered ron paul. this does come up. >> right. >> it came up before when he was running for president before. do we think it's going to be any more damning this go round? >> look, ron paul's damage control on this has been going on for years. it's because he has never completely put it to rest. he has been able, as you saw, to
get his denial out there, that he did not authorize these offending words, which is about all he can do. the problem is that -- well, one of the problems is that there were people back in the day covering ron paul and a handful of other members of congress. this is dating back to the mid 1990s. he was one of the members who was sort of involved in what has been referred to as the black helicopter caucus on capitol hill. members of congress, of whom ron paul was seen as one of the most outspoken, widely seen as supporting what you might call conspiracy theories of sort of having support of right wing militias even. these members are not afraid to espouse slightly over the edge rhetoric. so the notion that an edgy newsletter bearing ron paul's name being out there never surprised me. in fact, it was a little more
surprising, i think, that he disavowed it starting around 2001 or so. that was something that was news to me, the fact that ron paul said he hadn't authorized those words, suzanne. this is one of those things that you can expect to come up, but in the long run i think what you can say is that a lot of people feel as though this question has already been asked and answered and they've already made their decisions i think about ron paul in a lot of ways. >> yeah. do we think it's going to affect his popularity at all? he's rising in the polls, at least the top in iowa. you have the caucuses just a couple of weeks away. is it going to hurt him? >> you know, i mean, think about it. there are people who have known ron paul's name really since the last time he ran, and this information was probably put in front of many of them in places like iowa, places like south carolina, what have you. there may be some people for whom this information is new, and that is the question of how
it will be received and whether they believe ron paul. >> sure. >> you know, the critics of ron paul have already made their decision and are probably already ready to say, hey, he probably was in on this. >> all right. >> at the end of the day, let's watch the caucuses and see. >> fair enough. thanks. just a reminder, about 45 minutes president obama's holding a news conference concerning the payroll tax cut. our coverage is starting at the top of the hour. we'll bring you his remarks live. the u.s. says miscommunication was at the heart of the airstrike that killed 24 pack kiss stab any troops last month. here what the pentagon says went wrong. i am so glad to get rid o. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪
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pentagon says it deeply regrets the airstrike that killed 24 pakistani troops in november calling it a result of inadequate coordination with the pakistani military. barbara starr is live on the details of the investigation. how significant is this, barbara? what went wrong? >> reporter: well, you know, suzanne, there are both military and political implications to this, of course. the pakistanis remain furious about all of it. they would like to see an apology from the united states from president obama. that may not be anything you see any time soon, of course, because the president in the middle of a political season will be very cautious about appearing on camera offering any apologies for the united states.
that's something the republicans have, of course, criticized him for doing in the past. militarily, what are the implications? this is a situation where a fire fight went terribly wrong because neither side really knew what was going on. u.s. forces landed on the border of afghanistan/pakistan on the night of november 25th, came under fire, and called in fire back not realizing that they were firing on pakistani military positions. there was bad information, bad coordination, bad maps that led the pakistanis to say if you're firing where we think you're firing, that's about 14 kilometers away. we have no situation there. it turned out, of course, that u.s. troops were firing right on pakistani military positions and didn't know it. so this remains a very tense situation between both countries, even though the
investigation is done. look for some frosty feelings for some time to come. >> all right. barbara starr, thank you. so you see players get hit hard in football, right? now former nfl players are suing the league. we'll look at their claim about the link between concussions and brain damage. to choose from. who is she? that's flobot. she's this new robot we're trying out, mostly for, like, small stuff. wow! look at her go! she's pretty good. she's pretty good. hey, flobot, great job. oops. [ powers down ] uh-oh, flobot is broken. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. call or click today.
couldn't get enough of on youtube. talking babies to talking dogs. here's jeanne moos with the youtube 2011 top ten countdown. >> reporter: the thing about youtube videos is some you get, and some seem like gibberish. for instance, in this year's top ten most viewed videos. the number five spot went to a very annoying cat. the number ten spot went to a very adorable cat. >> reporter: a mother cat hugging its kitten while the two of them take a cat nap. the number nine video was volkawagon's super bowl video called the force. number eight was a cute 11-year-old canadian singing lady gaga's hit. lady gaga was so impressed she invited maria to sing a duet in
concert. number seven was a dance comedy video. youtube is the place if you want people to ♪ look at me now >> reporter: at least 56 million people looked at the twin talking babies who seemed to understand each other perfectly. adults enjoyed adding subtitles and nominating them for best foreign language film. comedy music videos were popular. and we might as well acknowledge the number one video that got over 180 million views. ♪ it's friday night >> reporter: okay, that's enough acknowledgment. it's the video that came in at number two that's number one in my heart. since it's my story, that's the one we're going to concentrate on. >> you know what the meat drawer is, right? >> yeah, what was in there? >> reporter: there is just something riveting about the
talking dog being teased. >> you know that bacon that's like maple? got maple flavoring? >> the maple kind, yeah? >> yeah. i took that out and i thought -- >> yeah. >> -- i know who would like that. me! so i ate it. >> oh. >> looks like he's getting his hopes up and they're dashed. then he gets his hopes up and they're dashed again. >> reporter: former ad agency guy andrew grantham makes a living doing this. they submit videos and he adds the dialogue. andrew wouldn't say how much his advertising partnership with youtube pays, but clark the dog now has a facebook fan page with a joke bacon tree and a bacon t-shirt. if you're wondering. >> you kicked me. >> reporter: what he really said in dog speak. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. those are some fun videos.
some spots in the west and southeastern united states getting hammered. storm warnings are in effect in both places. got some snowy scenes like these being repeated in today parts of kansas. what should you expect weatherwise as the holiday approaches? chad myers with the answers. hi, chad. is it going to be tough? >> it's more wet than white surprisingly. we'll have a wet christmas in a lot of the northeastern states, even here in georgia. could pick up a couple inches of rain. tornado watches and warnings are in effect. tornado warnings. doppler indicated potential tornadoes. another one that was just issued for parts of mississippi. you say how can there be tornadoes, it's wintertime, the first day of winter? well, because it's so warm down here. birmingham, montgomery, temperatures almost 70 degrees. the sun popping out. big storms are back off to the west. it's part of the next system because there are cold, cold parts of the country and warm parts of the country separated
by a significant jet stream. the jet stream does this, that allows the cold air to come down from the north. as the jet stream goes up over here, that allows the warm air to infiltrate the southeastern part of the u.s. it's very warm. very wet outside. the humidity is very high. even airports are getting a little bit slow. not seeing any airport slowdowns in the southeast yet. as the storms arrive, montgomery, birmingham, atlanta will get slow later today. one thing i can tell you if you're coming through or to atlanta on an airplane, if you can get here before 6:00 or get here on an earlier flight without having to pay a lot of money, that would be the thing to do. by 8 or 9:00, with tornadoes in the air, the air porlt will be very slow. you start to miss connections. when connections start to roll, all of a sudden your 8:00, 9:00, there's no other plane to get on today. you have to sit the night in an airport. that's one thing you can do for yourself today if you're flying. get out a little bit early.
that's what atlanta looks like now. the top of the buildings in the clouds. airports okay. you see the ground. not zero visibility here. the planes are doing okay now. it's the thunder storm activity. there could be turbulence. >> all right. af got to get my ticket, get out of here. >> where are you going? >> going to d.c. get my ticket. thanks. well, you see players, they get hit hard in football all the time. now four former nfl players are suing the league. we're going to look at their claim about the link between concussions and brain damage. plus omega-3 dha ons is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy. one a day, gummies for grown-ups.
four former nfl players have joined a long line of ex-players suing the league overhead injuries. retired super bowl champion running backs jamal lewis, doors si leaf vince along with ryan stewart filed suit in an atlanta court on wednesday claiming that the nfl downplayed the link between concussions and brain damage. now we know football players, they expect to get hit. i spoke with former nfl player and coach mike ditka about this back in february. here's what he told me. >> well, football is a violent game. people hit hard. you put a helmet on somebody and the helmet becomes a security blanket. people have no fear of striking with their head or striking in the head. the helmet provides protection for them.
when you collide helmet to helmet, a lot of things can happen to the head and the brain. you can't legislate hitting out of football. it is a physical sport. >> the unwritten rule in football, if you can walk, you can play. these guys, they want to play and how do you take them off the field when they're so motivated to be out there? you were a coach yourself. the coaches are highly motivated to get those guys playing again. >> yeah. it has to be done by a doctor. the coach will want the player to play. the player will want to play. i had a concussion when i played. i played the whole game with it, but when i looked at the film, i don't remember one thing that happened in the game. i played. i functioned. i played okay, but i don't remember any of it. i didn't remember a thing when i saw the film, so this can happen. it's a macho thing. players don't want to say you got your bell rung, a dinger, whatever they want to call it. >> defense attorney and former prosecutor paul callan is
joining us live from new york. do these football players, do they have a case? >> well, it's hard to say. i think the biggest problem with their case is it's a doctor and lawyer sometimes call it, assumption of the risk. what it means basically is thate in risky behavior deliberately and voluntarily, you can't then turn around and say, gee, i've got the right to collect damages for it. obviously football players know that head injuries are a part of the game, that knee injuries are a part of the game, and this suit would sort of change that theory and say, you know, the nfl owners and the nfl itself owes them a duty and responsibility. i think it is an uphill battle but dangerous, dangerous suit for the nfl. >> do you think, paul, this could lead to a class action lawsuit? you've got a lot of guys out there who have been complaining about this for years now? >> well, it's interesting. i've been looking at the history of this litigation and this is not the first time this theory
has been brought in court. 'v 75 nfl players started a similar case in california. a suit was filed in philadelphia. it remind me of the early days of the tobacco litigation where plaintiffs' lawyers were sort of circling around the tobacco companies try to come up with a theory that the court would sustain. because bear in mind, if the court lets this go, there are 15,000 retired football players, many of them with injuries, life-long injuries. you could be looking at hundreds of millions of dollars in damages if a court allowed this suit to go forward. >> do you think that this could be extended to other sports as well? >> well, i think the two major sports that you are likely to see it be used in of course, football and hockey are the two areas where i see the most damages in this area. boxing would be another area. but you know something? i think when the courts look at it, that's something judges are
going to be conscious of. really if you try to sanitize and make sports totally safe, you're going to eliminate sports like football. how can you have a version of football where there isn't a substantial danger of injury? it is sort of the nature of the beast. i think it is going to be a really troublesome case for any judge who looks at it. because on the other side of the equation you've got some very seriously injured football players. glamorous life when you're in the game but when these guys are in their 50s and 60s, they don't look the same. >> do you think it could trickle down to other sports on a high school level an college level as well as that take a second look at their programs and whether or not they would be able to be sued? >> i think it will trickle down because if we go back to that example i was using of the tobacco litigation, one of the problems that lawyers originally had was if you sued one company, you didn't -- you had to be able to prove that the guy spoked
winstons or marlboros or one brand all his life. then they'd have to sue colleges or high schools -- how do we know when these players were injured? maybe they started to get the brain injury in high school or football, then was pushed over the edge in the nfl. think everybody who sponsors the game has an element of kadanger. >> we reached out to the nfl about the matter. league responded with this statement saying, the nfl has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. any allegation that the nfl intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. it stands in contrast to the league's actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions. tune in to "cnn newsroom" at 1:00 eastern for more on this story. ryan stewart, one of the players involved in the lawsuit, is going to be live. we'll also be joined by the lead attorney in the case.
kim jong-il's former chef reveals secrets about the dictator's lavish lifestyle. he takes us behind the regime and gives inside information about the nation's new leader. forty years ago, he wasn't worried about retirement. he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement solutions for our military, veterans and their families. from investments... to life insurance... to health care options. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa.
kim jong-il was being succeeded by his youngest son, there was a mad scramble to find out more about kim jing ong-ujong-un. we found someone with rare insight -- the family's personal chef. >> reporter: as north korea mourns the loss of its dear leader, the world is anxiously waiting for his youngest son, kim jong-un, to reveal what sort of successor he would be. one man with a personal insight is the family chef for 13 years. one of the few outsiders allowed in to this secretive and reclusive world. he says he was a chef from japan who would be invited to kim jong-il's private parties and drink with me. he would ask me do you like she? i would tell him i love him and kiss his cheek. the two men had had a passion for fine food and when many north korean were starving, kim jong-il would send his chef
around the world for ingredients. he says he traveled to iran for caviar, denmark for pork and thailand for mangos and papaya. on a trip to japan, i bought a whole tuna for $40,000 u.s., he tells us. i would do this trip a few times a year. but while in pyongyang, he spent time with the young kim jong-un who he described after defecting to japan as a chip off the old block believing this teenager would one day succeed his father. "he would always take the lead over his brothers," he says. "he was always going to succeed his father." cunning jo king jong unhas inherited a country with nuclear capabilities and a humanitarian crisis. more than one-quarter of the population is facing starvation. while many are concerned kim jong-un will follow in his footsteps, the former chef
believes this world sophisticated leader is very worldly and well aware of what his country does not have. "i believe he is aiming at reform and open society," explains the chef. "he will look to china as an example so that the country can move forward." while there are fears kim jong-un and those around him may act to prove his leadership, there is hope he will bring stability to the korean peninsula and lead his country out of the wilderness and into the international arena. cnn, seoul. stories making news across the country -- a dramatic violent crash ended a 4 07b minute police chase in downtown orlando. when you see the impact, it is amazing, the fact that everyone survived. absolutely remarkable. six people were injured, including the two burglar suspects that police were chasing. to arizona where police say they dealt a huge blow to a notorious drug cartel.
they arrested more than 200 people and seized almost $8 million, along with $12 million worth of drugs. they say it all began 15 months ago when a drug user was pulled over in his ordinary traffic stop. and police were forced into some reindeer games in northern ohio. drivers had to avoid this reindeer as it strolled down the middle of the road. 911 calls poured in. an officer came to guide it off to safety. top of the hour, i'm suzanne malveaux. i want to get you up to speed. president obama is upping the ante in the high-stakes political fight affecting your paycheck. he was supposed to go before the cameras just a few minutes to call on congress to extend the payroll tax cut. well, it's been pushed back a little bit to the next hour. we'll be following that live. house republicans have refused to go along with a temporary two-month extension that was approved by the senate.
well today speaker john boehner made another push for negotiations on a one-year extension. the clock is ticking. the payroll tax cut expires december 31st. what does this means? it means higher taxes for 160 million americans if there's no extension. so for a family making $50,000 a year, it means about $40 less in each paycheck. a figure the administration is trying to hammer home. our team standing by to talk about what's at stake for you, your finances, as well as the political players involved. wolf blitzer in washington, dan lothian at the white house, kate bolduan on capitol hill and alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. want to start off with my colleague, wolf, on the political stakes of the showdown. let's talk about this. this is less than two weeks away from the iowa caucuses. this is a president who has to win on the state of the economy going into the 2012 re-election.
what does he need to say when he goes before the cameras? >> he has to make point that he's trying to do the best he can for middle class, 160 million americans who are working right now who would get a tax increase automatically on january 1st if congress, the senate and house of representatives as well, doesn't approve their extension of the payroll tax cut. he's got to make the point, he's going to try to put a lot more pressure on house republicans. the problem from the white house perspective is not the senate republicans. mitch mcconnell, the senate minority leader, need to keep that tax cut going for the rest of the year. the problem is with the speaker and with the republican leadership in the house of representatives, they don't want a two-month deal. they say it is too complicated, wouldn't really work, would set matters back. they want a one-year extension and they say there is a formula to do it. just get members of the house, members of the senate, so-called
conferrees to get together this week an next week, work out a new compromise, get the president to support it. they'll get a one-year extension, that will be that. >> wolf, stand by. the white house has said a two-month extension of the tax cut going to keep middle class americans with getting hit with smaller paychecks nine days from now. we'll wait for the president's remarks. but i want to bring in dan lothian. dan, you and i are used to seeing this kind of stage craft during a campaign. but the white house is taking this argument to a whole nother level. you got the tax countdown clock. the twitter campaign. he's rolling out these families that will potentially be hurt by this tax increase. what do we expect to see and why is this so important for the president? >> reporter: well, it is very important for the president because he believes that middle class americans have been hurt very much by the downturn in the economy and he wants to provide some relief. he also believes that in addition to just helping individual americans it could potentially hurt the economy which is shaky already.
could set back some of the gains that have been made if in fact this two-month extension is not agreed to. so as you pointed out, the president trying to apply more pressure on house republicans by bringing in those who are directly or say they'll be directly impacted by losing $40 in each paycheck. i can tell you we saw a shot from that room. there are a lot of families, individuals, inside that room. some of them have actually sent in to the white house blog or even tweeted about what they could use that $40 for, whether it is to pay for school lunch, whether it is to buy medicine, whatever it might be. they've been tweeting about it. the white house saying they've gotten more than 30,000 tweets with that hash tag of $40 and the president will be highlighting that today in addition to putting pressure publicly on house republicans. >> dan, stand by. it is not just a battle between the white house and the house speaker, it is really turning into a fight within the republican party. senator john mccain says
republicans now are paying the price. >> it is harming the republican party. it is harming the view, if it's possible, anymore, of the american people about congress and we've got to get this thing resolved and with the realization that the payroll tax cut must remain in effect. >> want to bring in our congressional correspondent kate bolduan from capitol hill. kate, as the senator noted, this is republican versus republican now. senate republicans who are pushing to pass this tax cut extension as is. then you got the house republicans, they want to continue the negotiations. what are they doing now? are they talking to each other? past each other? do they think they can get this resolved? >> well, in terms of house republicans and senate democrats, and the main people involved, they're still talking past each other but a couple important developments today, so far, i'll tell you that house speaker john boehner came out
really saying what he's said all along, staking his position still that this two-month extension, they are opposed to a two-month extension and that senate democrats should come to the table and start negotiating, a one-year deal which they believe they can still pull off if everyone could find agreement by the end of the year. but importantly the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell, who's really been silent as the stand-off unfolded in the last few days released a statement this afternoon, a very telling statement, he's proposing a compromise in this statement saying that senate democrats should come to the table, appointee to appointee so they can go to conference. house republicans though should pass this short-term extension. ill he read you the statement in part. it says that the house should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of keystone xl pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions and allow congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions.
now not only is this -- is senator mcconnell trying to after a compromise here, i'm told by top republican aides that this is also a way -- can be seen as also a way to try to offer house speaker john boehner a way out of this impasse as house republicans have come under increasing scrutiny not only from democrats but also senate republicans themselves. i'll tell you, the fact that senate minority leader mcconnell is coming out to say that the house should give in here on their opposition to a short-term extension is very telling and very noteworthy. i'll say it does not help house speaker john boehner's argument that they're not going to budge. so this could be a very significant development today. >> could be a break-through. all right, kate, thank you very much. obviously we'll get back to everybody who is weighing in and watching for the president to make his statement, to make his case on this issue. wolf blitzer out of washington, dan lothian at the white house, and of course kate bolduan on the hill. as well as alison kosik at the new york stock exchange to talk
about the economy, because the economy is really fragile. so what would actually happen if the payroll tax cut extension does not go through? big picture look at the possible ripple effect. that up next. vegas baby! maybe we should head back to the dealership first? vegas! no, this is a test drive. vegas! [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get zero first month's payment, zero down, zero security deposit and zero due at signing on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com. and zero due at signing on any new volkswagen. everyone believes in keeping their promises once a year. but we believe in helping people take steps to keep them every single day. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow.
new york stock exchange. allison, what does this mean in terms of people's paychecks? >> okay. in terms of dollars and cents, for one i just want to point this out, pat payroll tax for social security would go from 4.2% back up to 6.2%. and just a reminder, before january 1 of this year, everybody who got a paycheck was paying 6.2%. so it's going back up to the original amount that everybody was paying. but just to break it down for you, per year. let's say that you earn $35,000 a year. if this payroll tax cut is not extended, it means that you're going to pay an extra $700 beginning next year. then you go through the salaries. $50,000, you pay an extra $1,000 and so on. you see that in the graphic there. now i want to switch to individual, break it down to your individual paycheck if this increase -- if the payroll tax break is not extended. let's say you earn $35,000 a
year. you would say $27 more per paycheck and so on. $50,000 a year, you would pay $38 per paycheck. you see how it impacts you, every little bit matters. for many people who are getting a paycheck, it's certainly been very noticeable that the paycheck has been at least a little bit fatter. so, yeah, if this extension is not passed it will definitely be noticeable when payday comes. >> is this going to lead to people spending less, they'll have less money to spend and potentially throw us into another recession? >> well, what's interesting about this whole issue, it is very controversial so you can talk to one group, they'll say one thing, and another, they'll say a totally different thing. but one thing that many people can agree on is that it is possible that it could tip the u.s. back into recession because it's terrible timing. look how the economy is sort of plodding along right now. just today we got a report on
how economic growth in this country has been for the months july -- for the third quarter. so gdp growth came in at just at 1.8% annual pace. that's pretty anemic. you see there how much the economy has slowed. a healthy economy, it needs to grow at 3%, 3 357b.5%. the fear is that the growth may slow because people will wind up spending less because they're going to be getting less in their paychecks. >> thanks for the explainer. obviously we'll keep our eye on the white house. reminder, president obama is holding a news conference concerning the payroll tax cuts. he's expected to speak at 1:00 eastern now. we'll bring you his remarks live. it is the most heavily armed border in the world. tensions are especially high right now. we'll take you to the
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u.s. troops leave iraq, and now this -- nine car bombs, six roadside bombs and a mortar round rocked the capital killing more than 60 people, wounding at least 185 others. cnn's arwa damon is joining us live from baghdad. arwa, this is the worst violence we've seen in baghdad in quite some time and it comes just days after u.s. troops pull out. what is the state of iraq now? >> well, i can tell you that just a few moments ago we heard yet another explosion that shook the building that we're in.
so it seems as if the violence is continuing well into the night. still waiting to hear details on what that target was, but for many iraqis, suzanne, this is just their worst nightmare come true, increased violence on the heels of the u.s. withdrawal and they're watching their government appear to crumble apart like a deck of cards. it is so horrific for many iraqis. they're expressing their anger, their outrage. these explosions, 16 of them this morning, came within two hours of one another. when they turn to their politicians, to their government looking for some sort of a solution, all they're finding is this intense fighting along sectarian lines. there is an arrest warrant out for the sunni vice president on charges of terrorism. he is up north seeking sanctuary in the semi-autonomous region of kurdistan. the prime minister says they're simply implement being the rule of law and they want the vice president brought to baghdad. all of this is really causing great concern because even though the violence might not
directly be linked to the politics that we're seeing take place right now, it most certainly opens up faith. by that i mean the political instability opens up space for terrorism to exist. >> arwa, do we know who is taking responsibility for all these bombings taking place? >> there's been no claim as of yet but they do bare the hall marks of al qaeda style attacks, the sophistication and level of coordination. the u.s. military prior to withdrawing had said that. would be highly likely that al qaeda and maybe some other insurgent groups would try to carry out some of these coordinated spectacular attacks if only to send the message that look, we're still here and we can still carry out these acts of violence. for the iraqi public this puts a huge question mark on the capabilities of the iraqi security forces. 16 explosions in the capital when you have a checkpoint on every single road just about?
it does not cause for a lot of confidence in those abilities. >> arwa damon, thank you very much. tension has always been high on the north korean/south korean border, right? but following the death of kim jong-il the dmz is now getting more attention. it stretches across the korean peninsula and considered the most heavily armed border in the world. cnn's paula hancocks is there. >> reporter: the dmz, the demilitarized zone between north and south korea. since the death of kim jong-il, monitoring has been increased. we understand that the level i alerts have been raised but the u.s. military is saying it is business as usual. >> we are maintaining a level of readiness expected of us on any given day here in the republic of korea. >> reporter: here on the dmz you
can see a north korean soldier just across the border. they often come out of that area to see what is happening on this side, the south korean border. this is a joint security area. it is basically where all the negotiations are taking place between the north and the south since 1963. now the blue huts behind me are half in north korea, half in south korea, and the border itself is obviously very tense. you can see the south korean soldiers facing off against the north korean soldiers and a very inauspicious border. the concrete slab that you see in the middle there, just a few inches above the ground, is effectively the border between north and south korea. this is the conference room where the negotiations actually take place when there are negotiations between the north and south. this table here is effectively along the border so they want to make sure that it is completely equal half of the hut's exactly and the north half in the sort.
many negotiations over the years have happened here. this is called checkpoint three along the dmz. you can see how closely up the demarcation line. these white stakes are effectively the border between north and south korea. just beyond that, beyond those trees, you can see a building there. this is one of the buildings that obviously the north koreans could well be using to monitor south korea just as here on the south korean side they are monitoring the north korean side. so a very intense border, but both sides watching very closely hoping that each day that goes by, situation will ease. paula hancocks, cnn, on the border of the dmz between north and south korea. we look further into the hazings investigation. director?
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more disturbing details from the autopsy of florida a&m drum major robert champion. a pathology expert says his muscle damage was so severe, it is more commonly seen after car accidents. prolonged seizures or torture. champion was beaten in an alleged hazing incident. so far no one has been charged in his death. george howell reports finding out who took part in this beating is not so easy. >> reporter: it happened on a tour bus parked outside an orlando hotel november 19th. florida a&m drum major robert champion died after a vicious beating. investigators say it was a homicide that resulted from hazing. >> you look at a bus like this,
the narrow aisles, the seats so close to the, the ceiling. it is just such tight confines in here, and to have to walk from the front to the back of the bus with people just beating the hell out of you, what must he have gone through? >> reporter: we turn to hln law enforcement analyst mike brooks to take us into the minds of investigators trying to piece together what happened to the 26-year-old victim before someone placed this 911 call. >> is he breathing? >> no, i don't know if he's breathing or not. >> how do you determine the level of culpability who did what? >> that's a great question. as a law enforcement officer i want to know who were the ones that were delivering the blows, the serious blows. was there one person who delivered the most blows that may have caused his death? we don't know. are there other people that might not have been involved at all? >> reporter: band members who spoke to cnn say it may have been the result of a hazing ritual crossing but the c where
the victim walks backwards from the front of the bus to the back while being beaten repeatedly by fellow band members. >> investigators have their work cut out for them. they've got to interview everyone, but this bus is a crime scene. what happened? where did it happen on this bus when he was being beaten with fists, maybe with musical instruments. those are things law enforcement has to find out exactly what happened. >> reporter: robert champion died of significant rapid blood loss due to blunt force trauma according to the autopsy report, the victim of a severe beating. and with so many possible witnesses on the bus -- >> i find it hard to believe that if that much was going on inside the bus, that they were beating him so viciously inside that bus? that somebody on the outside didn't hear something, didn't see something. >> reporter: brooks says it is a complicated investigation to determine exactly what happened in the moments leading up to robert champion's death. >> did anybody try to stop this?
did anybody say, hey, he's had enough, he's had enough, knock it off. did that happen? only the people on the bus know. >> earlier this week i talked with robert champion's mother about what happened to her son and she says that florida a&m has not gone far enough to stop hazing. >> i haven't talked to the university. the university hasn't talk -- explained anything about what they're doing. what i'd like to do is see what things they are going to put in place to ensure that this does not happen again. it's clearly a cruel and a hateful thing to have anybody to go through. so i'd like to see what kind of things they are planning on putting into place. obviously what they had in place was not working. >> last week florida's governor asked that the president of florida a&m step aside while the investigation takes place but it was protested and the president
refused. we are getting word now of intense severe storms hitting the southeast right now. chad will pinpoint where up next. [ male announcer ] what if we told you that cadillac borrowed technology from ferrari to develop its suspension system? or what if we told you that ferrari borrowed technology from cadillac to develop its suspension system? magnetic ride control -- pioneered by cadillac, perfected in the 556-horsepower cts-v. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs.
5,000 healthy meals are delivered every day in some of washington, d.c.'s lowest income areas. by a reformed ex-convict with a desire to give something back. it's our "giving in focus" segment today. >> i shall return. this should be enough. early on in my life, i guess i was watching too many gangster movies. robbing banks. that was a thrill. running from the feds. we just robbed whatever bank we could. finally they caught up with us. they gave me 20 years. but when i did get out, things were different. i just didn't feel as though i was a part of society. thanks to d.c. central kitchen and the opportunity that they gave me, they actually changed
my life to begin my transformation. >> the thing that's unique about d.c. central kitchen, it is a community kitchen. we make 5,000 meals every day and they go out to breakfast meals on the street, all the city shelters. >> all right, we in business. >> and with that meal goes the message that back at home in our kitchen there is a 14-week program that will get men and women back on their feet with a culinary job training program and they leave with jobs. >> i come in, i get my route sheet. >> healthy corners is an interesting program. last five years it's been a healthier focus on meals. >> i'm giving significantly to the community by providing these items. >> there's been an interest in getting this healthy product into the corner stores that are
in the food vendors all around d.c. food vendors is an area where they do not have assets to good local products. >> instead always go in and getting chips and cookies and things of that nature, we're trying to provide them with alternative ways of eating. >> bo's been a friend of mine for a long time. i remember him coming through as a student. he's been through every aspect in the kitchen, bo worked in cater being, bo worked in the production life. we thought he was the perfect candidate to take on healthy corners because he knows the community. >> these are fresh product. >> when you're around someone to see the change in their life and they're becoming a better person, it makes you want to do the same in your life. >> good for him! be sure to watch cnn's "giving in know cuss" special on christmas day at 4:30 eastern. severe storms are battering the southeast right to you. chad meyers is here with all the
details. travel will be pretty tough. >> atlanta airport may be even closed later on today, airplanes may not be able to fly in or out as these storms get so close, these tornadic storms like we're seeing right now get closer to atlanta. chatham, alabama, you are under the gun with a tornado warning for you. the storm is right there. very, very big storm. this thing has been on ground. i think there's been a tornado on the ground south of probably state line into mississippi. this is just one of many. these big red boxes here are watch boxes that go until 5:00 central time in alabama. that means something could spin. the bigger ones that spin could put down a tornado. it is a watch. when you see a purple box, you know that's a warning -- something is going on right there. this storm went just to the south of state line, mississippi, and now right into close to millery, alabama. there is going to be weather into birmingham.
you always expect severe weather in the spring. you don't expect it on the first day of winter. what happens in spring is that the warm air wants to push the cold air away. that's spring. it's december. right now the cold air is trying to push the warm air away. clashing worm and cold clash and that's what caused the thunderstorms, whether in the spring or in the fall or today, winter. denver, your delays are going down, 35 minutes. newark at 15. flight explorer show the planes in the sky. as this cell line gets closer to this airport you'll have to get ready for some long delays today. >> there will even be more planes in the next couple days? >> yes. tomorrow for sure. it slows down a little bit on saturday. if you start to lose planes because of cancellations, all of
a sudden 160 people don't have an airplane, they are looking for flights someplace else. those seats are full. that's the problem at this time of year. >> chad, thank you. reminder -- president obama is holding an event concerning the payroll tax cut. he's expected to speak at 1:00 eastern time. we are keeping an eye on the white house. going to have live coverage from washington, d.c. next bringing you his remarks live. but first here's some free money advice from the cnn help desk. >> time for the help desk where we get answers to your financial questions. joining me this hour, gary schatsky, president of objectiveadvice.com. gail cunningham with the national foundation for credit counseling. thank you both for being here. this question from chris in florida -- my wife has approximately $45,000 in student debt spread out over ten loans. she is a teacher and a low-income school and could possibly receive repayment help. what's the best way to simplify an reduce that debt?
>> wow. $45,000 spread over ten loans. that's a bit complicated for them to keep up with. i do think there may be help available for them through income based repayment plans. we are speaking here of federal loans. so if their loans are private, that may be a different animal to deal with. but income based repayment, apply for that. they're going to ask for documentation of course for such things as previous tax returns, et cetera. but that's okay. it is going to be well worth it. she may also require some forgiveness along the way and she would probably qualify for that having been in the type of job she is in the teaching -- >> a thing to look into. >> consolidate those loans, get the payments started. >> gary, your question from jonathan in san diego -- i'm considering rolling over several 401(k) plans from former employers into an i.r.a. how do the legal protections for the two differ? >> that's a really good question. first of all, from the legal protection standpoint you're
normally talking about creditor protection or bankruptcy. generally it depends state by state. 401(k)s have greater protections than i.r.a.s. not all states. but more importantly, when you roll over to an i.r.a., there are great advantages. have you tremendous flexibility on your investments, you can get cheaper funds. unless you are really concerned about credit risk, rolling to an i.r.a. often makes good sense. >> if you have questions you want answered, just send an e-mail any time to cnnhelp email@example.com. hello, how can i deliver world-class service for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy.
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president obama turning up the pressure on house republicans in the tax cut standoff. the president is holding an event shortly to push for extending the payroll tax cut. we'll bring it to you live. house republicans have refused to go along with a temporary two-month extension that was approved by the is that the. well today speaker john boehner made another push for negotiations on a one-year extension. but the clock is ticking. the payroll tax cut expires december 31st. it means that higher taxes for 160 million americans if there's no extension. now for a family making $50,000 a year, it means about $40 less in each paycheck. a figure the administration is trying to hammer home. our team is standing by to talk about what's at stake for you, your finances, as well as the political players involved. wolf blitzer, john king are in
washington, dan lothian is at the white house, kate bolduan on capitol hill and also alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. i want to start off with you, wolf. clearly the political stakes are very high in this showdown. less than two weeks away from the iowa caucuses. this president has to win 2012 on the state of the economy. what does he need to say today? >> well, he's got to get a deal going, he's got to get this tax cut for 160 million americans approved. because a lot of the economists out there are suggesting that if it is not improved, that would have a negative effect overall in the economy next year and if the economy is moving in the wrong direction, it's not going to help president obama get re-elected if things look like they're going from bad to worse. so the immediate need is between this week and next week, the president and republicans and especially in the house of republicans and democrats, the house and the senate, they need to get together and work out some sort of deal that allows it
to go forward, whether it is for two months or the entire year. i suspect they'll get an agreement because the stakes are simply so enormous not only for the american people but also for the democrats right flonow. i think pressure on the president is that if there is no deal, the economy in the process could suffer, a lot of americans could suffer. if the economy isn't moving in the right direction they potentially could blame the president in addition to blaming the republicans. >> how does the president fare going up against republicans and convincing them he's this populous president, that he actually gets it? who looks bad in the struggle? >> right now he's got the upper harnd. he's showing some fire in his belly. he did earlier in the week, getting passionate. that's certainly what his base wants to see, a more assertive, a more dynamic president making
the case for millions of work americans. this is a dramatic opportunity for him to do so. a whole bunch of republicans out there are saying this is playing into the president's hands politically for his re-election. sort of remind me -- suzanne, you'll remember, reminds me of how president clinton got himself re-elected back in '96 after the republicans went in a brinksmanship battle in shutting down the government. at that time they did shut down the government, newt gingrich was the speaker of the house but the american public by and large blamed the republicans and not the democrats and president clinton in '96 beat bob dole and was re-elected. there is a potential for a similar scenario to unfold right now if they don't get their act together, both sigh. i suspect there will be some blinking before new year's. >> some republicans hope this is really just a blip on the radar screen, that folks are not really going to pay thatch attention to the fact that we
are really at the point that we're almost at the abyss, that they are going to focus on november and what the economy looks like in november. do you think that's a fair assessment? >> i think they're playing a very dangerous game if they do. i'm not the only one who believes that. a lot of republicans are very nervous right now. that's why i think the speaker, john boehner, eric cantor in the end will find a way to come up with some sort of deal that allows this tax cut to continue, at least for another year, whether it is a two-month, full year, whatever, they will work it out, they've got the time if they're ready to stay in washington and do it. all the leaders are still here -- not senate leaders but the house president is here. his family is in hawaii but he's at the white house. if they can work out a deal in the coming days i think they'll all be winners in this process. if they don't work out a deal the american people will certainly suffer because $1,000
or $1,500 a year is a lot of money to people making $50,000 or $75,000 a year. they'll blame a lot of folks for this and it just makes washington look so dysfunctional. >> absolutely. wolf, stand by. the white house says the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut is going to keep middle class americans from getting hit with smaller paychecks. we are talking about just nine days from now. we want to bring in our white house correspondent dan lothian to talk a little bit about this stage craft that we're seeing here. it's taken to a whole nother level. we're used to seeing this on the campaign trail but you have this countdown clock that's happening, a twitter campaign. what do we expect to see from the president and these family that will appear with him? >> right. he has some real people at his side. it is one thing to talk about the stories of real americans but it is a different thing to actually show them and the white house believes that there is some power in that. that's why they've invited
americans, ordinary americans, who say they'll be impacted when their taxes go up, when they'll see $40 less in their paychecks each month to come here to the white house and sort of give a strong showing, adding to the president's pressure on house republicans to get something done. the big concern is that if this is allowed to expire, it will not only hurt middle class americans, but also hurt the overall economy which the white house believes is getting some traction, and some of those gains could be set back if this does not move forward, this temporary or two-month extension. again the white house would much rather have a longer deal, a one-year deal, but they done think that's possible right now. >> dan, we had heard from representative eric cantor earlier today who kind of gave the president a little bit of a hard time saying, yeah, we saw you shopping with your dog bo yesterday, you know, here on capitol hill it pet friendly as well, why don't you come up and
talk to us directly. do we have any sense that the president would actually gr to capitol hill and start talking to lawmaker in the next couple of days? >> reporter: we don't. in fact that is one question that we've asked the white house aides now for more than a week whether the president himself was going to go up to capitol hill or get more engaged. they believe that the president has been engaged from the very beginning. but you've heard fr that frthat speaker john boehner who's been calling for the president to get more involved, to go up there and negotiate. but the boss tomorrow line, the white house doesn't feel there's anymore negotiating that has to take place here. there was a bipartisan deal that was passed, approved in the nat. it is time for house republicans to get on-board with this, get it at least extended for two months, then everyone can work to the to get it extended for a year. >> thank you, dan. stand by. it is not just a battle between the white house and the house speaker, it is a fight within
the republican party. senator john mccain says republicans are paying the price. >> it is harming the republican party. it is harming the view, if it's possible anymore, of the american people about congress and we've got to get this thing resolved and with the realization that the payroll tax cut must remain in effect. >> want to bring in congressional correspondent kate bolduan who joins us from capitol hill. kate, we know it is republican versus republican, but it was quite significant that there was a statement that came from senator mitch mcconnell earlier today. explain to us what he is saying, what he's trying to do when he reaches out directly to boehner and house republicans to push and still approve this. >> reporter: senator mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, has been really silent this pass week as the standoff has continued and the pressure has really been mounting specifically on house republicans. today he broke that silence,
proposing what he's calling a compromise between the house -- what's being described as a compromise between the house and senate. while mitch mcconnell is calling for democrats to appoint these negotiators to go to conference, really begin negotiations over a longer term one-year deal, importantly and most notably mitch mcconnell is also calling on house republicans now to give in on the short-term extension which we now, house speaker john boehner has stood opposed to the short-term extension. let me read you his statement, in part, from senator mitch mcconnell -- the house should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of keystone xl pine line jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday and other expiring provisions and allows congress to work on a lugs for tsolution.
he's really telling house republicans, house speaker john boehner, to give in on the short-term extension so they can work toward this longer deal. harry reid issued a statement quickly after that trying to take the opportunity to say that probably one of the rare times that he says i agree with senator mitch mcconnell. obviously supports moving forward on the short-term extension. though he insists in the statement the house must move first. in the statement senator reid says once the house passes the senate's bipartisan compromise to hold middle class families harmless while we work out our differences i will be happy to restart the negotiating process to forge a year-long deal. house speaker john boehner, a spokesman for boehner gave us a statement afterward not indicating he's on board with this or that they are budging, but they all agree they need to get a one-year deal but also say that they need to move to reconcile their differences so they can provide that one-year
payroll relief and do so by year's end. you don't get an indication there that speaker boehner is on board with what his colleague in the house is proposing but some possibly very significant developments here as we've seen mounting pressure on house republicans to give some ground here, specifically coming from their senate colleagues and we're seeing a little bit more of that here. >> kate, thank you. i want to bring in wolf. i understand you've got a question for kate as well. >> i just wanted to follow up, kate. so the reaction from the speaker to what mitch mcconnell proposed today was not necessarily all that negative. he's leaving open the possibility? is that what you're saying? >> i don't know if we can read into it too far, but it is notable, wolf, that in this statement it says essentially that we all readily need to get to a deal. as mitch mcconnell suggests in his statement, that the house and senate need to reconcile their differences, meaning going to this conference to reconcile
their differences. but in the end the statement's finished by saying, which i was saying, that they need a provide a full year payroll tax relief and do it by year's end. by saying by year's end, that's been the real pick-up all along. senate democrats say that they need this assurance of this short-term extension in order to make sure that while they're negotiating that full-year deal this tax cut does not lapse. it is not necessarily that he's completely knocking it down, it is not a full endorsement of what mitch mcconnell is proposing but we'll see how they thread the needle from here. one top republican aide in the senate told me it can be seen what mitch mcconnell's proposing, he's trying to offer a way out for house speaker boehner of this logjam. he's faced increasing criticism for their position on this. >> you know there's no doubt that they're getting a lot of pressure not just from senate republicans but as we pointed out all day yesterday but the editorial board of the "wall
street journal" which has been very critical of the way the house republican leadership has handled this. john king is standing by as well. ramifications for americans, millions and millions of americans, are enormous right now. you might do holiday shopping. that money comes out of your pocket. if you make $35,000 a year if they do nothing you'll lose $700 or $2,700 a paycheck. if you make $50,000, you'll lose $1,000 next year. most average and middle class families lose $40 a paycheck. if you make $75,000 a year you'd lose $1,500 next year if they don't fix this or roughly about $58 a paycheck. obviously the more you go up, the more you lose. the president trying to get back not only his approval rating but a mayortive heading into the re-election campaign here that he's fighting for the middle class and that the republicans,